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Matches Made in Heaven

Wine pairings for an evening at home

Planning an evening of great wine and yummy nibbles? We have perfect pairings right here, courtesy of Debbie Ruskin of Debbie Ruskin Travel. chef, wine educator and traveler, Ruskin has tantalized the taste buds of travelers all over the world – and she has advice exclusive to East Cobb Lifestyle readers! 

Not a chocolate fan? Not to worry – Ruskin assures us that cheeses are just as delicious and even more foolproof for pairing with wine.

“Pairing chocolate with wine can be tricky,” she says, adding that the chocolate fans in the house should keep in mind this general rule: lighter wines with milk chocolate and heavier wines with dark chocolate.

Here are three pairings from Ruskin, whether you’re in the mood for a wintry red or a festive bubbly. 
 

Josh Cellars Cabernet 
This wine’s notes of blackberry, toasted hazelnut, cinnamon and vanilla make it rich and decadent for an evening at home. Pair this amazing red with dark chocolate to match the wine’s rich structure, and add raspberries to accent the fruitiness, says Ruskin. For cheese lovers, semi-hard cheeses like aged, sharp cheddar and gouda work well and have the right amount of fat to balance the tannins in the wine.
 
Hob Nob Pinot Noir 
Made in France and bursting with notes of cherry along a medium-bodied and smooth (yet rich) texture, this beautiful bottle of Pinot Noir is fantastic with classic sweets such as creamy milk chocolate and even a Snickers candy bar. Prefer cheese? Gruyere or comté are slightly salty and will pair nicely with the berry flavors in the wine. 
 
Jean-Jacques Vincent Crémant de Bourgogne 
This unique, sparkling Chardonnay from France has notes of crisp apple and toasty vanilla. Pair this bottle of bubbles with white chocolate, advises Ruskin, or with a chocolate-covered fruit to accentuate the wine’s natural hints of citrus. Sparkling wines also pair well with camembert or brie. 

  • Josh Cellars Cabernet
  • Hob Nob Pinot Noir